Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr Khurram Dastgir Khan and Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Bosan co-chaired a meeting in the Ministry of Commerce to evolve a strategy to enhance Pakistan’s export of agri-products to Russia.
The meeting was convened to discuss the vast opportunities which surfaced in the wake of imposition of Russian sanctions on food products from Europe. The meeting was attended by Secretary Commerce, Muhammad Shahzad Arbab, Secretary National Food Security, Seerat Asghar, Chief Executive Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) S M Munir, Director General Department of Plant Protection, Dr Mubarak Ali and representatives of fruits, vegetable and meat exporters’ associations.
The meeting was informed that TDAP is leading a delegation of 12 exhibitors of Pakistani agri-products to Moscow next month which will help create awareness about Pakistani products. The meeting decided to pursue the case of Preferential Trade Agreement with Russia more vigorously to achieve easy access to the Russian market.
Minister for Commerce, apprised the meeting about efforts being made by the Government to seek trade agreement with the Customs Union -Eurasian Economic Union- which includes Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Within Past few weeks Prime Minister has visited Russia and Belarus to strengthen trade and economic ties and next week the PM is scheduled to visit Kazakhstan which will support Pakistan’s case of trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, the Minister said. The meeting decided to invite Russian Quarantine officials to visit Pakistan and register meat processing units so that certified meat from these registered plants may be exported to Russia without any further checks.
The exporters sought Government’s support in reducing air freight charges which costs them Rs 180/kg and in operating special flights with cold storage facilities directly from Pakistan to Russia to facilitate the export of perishable items. Pakistani citrus, rice, potato and mango are making their way into the Russian market. It was decided that the Government will make special arrangements to facilitate the export of fresh and frozen meat and poultry, vegetables which include carrot, cauliflower, cabbage and beet-root and fruits which include dates, dry fruits, apple and plum.-PR